If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that I am golfing. I love the physical challenge, the competition (with myself), and being out on a beautiful course in the fresh air. All that walking and flailing around with a club is good exercise. An added bonus is my new circle of golf buddies – the ladies I see at least once a week for our “Nine and Wine” gathering. But, it’s time to kick it all up a notch!
The purpose of establishing a handicap is to allow amateur golfers of disparate skill levels to play together competitively. My club has set me up online with the Arizona Women’s Golf Association, and I now log my scores. Once I have completed a certain number of rounds, a calculation will be made based on my scores and the difficulty of the courses I have played, and a handicap established. Assuming I continue to submit my scores, the handicap will be adjusted over time, if I get better (or, God forbid, worse).
Let’s say I am assigned a handicap of 20. If I then actually score a 120 on 18 holes, my handicap would be subtracted from my score, and my score would become 100 for competitive purposes. At this point, I expect my handicap to be pretty high – but I have to start somewhere, right?
The pursuit of a handicap is having some interesting side effects on my golf game. First – I can no longer be casual with the official rules. Until now, if I flubbed a drive, I would take a mulligan and try again (without counting the extra stroke on my score). Second – I find that I am much more focused on making a good shot, because one more stroke here and another there makes a difference. Now that I submit my scores, I would like to avoid unnecessary embarrassment. I think this focus will help me improve my game.
This could be a humbling experience, but it’s necessary if I want to become a serious golfer. Stay tuned for updates.